Alea casino, based at Clarence Dock in Leeds, has closed with immediate effect citing poor trading conditions as the reason for the sudden closure.
Along with the casino, The Bird restaurant and Leeds Kitchen, run by Michelin-starred chef Vineet Bhatia and James Martin respectively, will also cease to trade. According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, there are 99 jobs at risk.
The casino is owned by London Clubs International (LCI), a Caesars Entertainment company, who have properties up and down the country. LCI opened Alea Leeds in 2008 and have since invested heavily into the venue in an attempt to attract customers. However, the Clarence Dock development where the casino is based has failed to flourish and many of its trading units are empty.
When LCI opened Alea Leeds they did so with a view to turn it into a major casino, a “Super Casino” as the tabloid press billed them as. Leeds was one of eight UK cities chosen by the government as a potential venue for a major casino, but that decision was made five years ago and nothing has yet been finalised. LCI also believe that Leeds City Council would prefer a fresh site for a new casino and have now withdrawn their bid.
LCI will continue to operate from its nine other UK-based venues, but its Leeds branch is now permanently closed. A statement on the Alea Leeds website, dated March 4, reads:
London Clubs International, owners of Alea Leeds Casino (including Leeds Kitchen and The Bird by Vineet) regrets to announce that the company will be suspending trading as of today. We have reluctantly taken this decision following continued difficult trading conditions at the Clarence Dock Development.
We are grateful to our staff and suppliers who worked hard to deliver a great entertainment venue and thank them following this difficult decision.
For specific enquiries, please email email@example.com
Thank you to our valued customers for their support of Alea Leeds.